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In Memoriam: Doris Ritzi, “Mother of all Angeleno-Swiss”

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With great sadness, the Angeleno-Swiss community had to say goodbye to one of the most beloved members of our “Little Switzerland”. (eulogy)

Long before blogs existed, Doris brought the community together with her widely read Newsletter and her active participation at every Swiss event in southern California.

We salute you, Doris – and know you are resting in peace, among the many Angels that make up this beautiful city you called home for most of your life.

All your friends, colleagues and loved ones will think of you often and remember your picture taking, article writing and bright feisty spirit.

Please enjoy this 2009 SwissTV special about Doris, the first Swiss Consular Secretary in Los Angeles.

Doris Ritzi, October 23, 1922 - April 16, 2012

Doris Ritzi, October 23, 1922 – April 16, 2012

Written by M:)

April 17, 2012 at 8:40 am

Posted in In Memoriam, People.LA+

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Congratulations: BrunchButler.com on KTLA – Bravo Raphael and Herbie!

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Swiss green card lottery winners, entrepreneurs Raphael and Herbie’s Hollywood dream come true. Here they are, introducing the already mega-successful Zürich-born concept to West Angelenos on KTLA’s morning show.

Impress your date with a flawless breakfast the next morning with Roomservice by BrunchButler.com

Bravo guys!

Written by M:)

March 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Congratulations to Artspace Warehouse: TOP 5 PICK by Angeleno Magazine!

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turn to page 110...

I love this place – but then again, I LOVE the Weisman Museum, and some tell me I’m crazy because of that… “Modern Art is just a bit of color on a canvas, a couple of paint specks, and there…” “I can do that”… yeah, right…

I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through this newest addition to the vibrant Euro-LA Gallery Scene, where young, upcoming Starving Artists from Germany and Switzerland are shown alongside Angeleno “Greats” – creating a cultural bridge and “Axis of Contemporary Art” between Köln, Zürich and Los Angeles.

There is Art for every pocketbook – that’s what I genuinely LOVE about this place. There’s room for the Elite Galleries, but Art lovers who don’t have gagillions to spend would really enjoy owning some cool stuff at a price where they don’t have to start another housing bubble to finance the thing hanging on their walls… right?

From Giacometti-Like wire statuettes, to artsy trinkets, to a series of amazing pop-art pieces the size of my whole living room – there’s something for every Taste and every Wallet. We may not be totally ready in this economy to splurge on Art yet, but the Artspace Warehouse makes it way more “Erschwinglich” (learn that word, Angelenos)… (affordable, yes… )

Check out some snapshots taken during a recent visit…

Congratulations to the creative entrepreneurial genius of Swiss Galerist Claudia Deutsch, President of the Beverly Hills Women’s Club and St.Gallen Alumni.

Claudia, YOU MADE(IT)IN.LA+!

M:) – http://www.Helvetic.LA

ps: Get this… they just sold a GREAT piece to my FAVORITE Private Contemporary Art Museum… THE WEISMAN… Claudia – CONGRATULATIONS, You Made(ir)in.LA+!

Written by M:)

October 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm

#SwissTalentLA – Help them reach for the Stars! “Me + You”, the creative genius of Angeleno-Swiss Film Directors Laurence Stajic, Sam Flueckiger and the sound of “likewildfire”. Check it out, and if you like it, BUY IT!

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Help Laurence, Sam and “likewildfire” reach for the Stars!  DOWNLOAD HERE:

likewildfire is based out of Los Angeles, California.
Not just an artist or a band, it is an independent music collective aimed at changing the way music is created and promoted

Song by Like Wildfire (http://www.likewildfireofficial.com)
Video written, directed and produced by Sam Flueckiger (http://www.sam-flueckiger.ch) & Laurence Stajic (http://www.laurencestajic.com)

Written by M:)

October 7, 2011 at 9:00 am

#SwissTalentLA: Meet Raffael Dickreuter, Angeleno-Swiss Special Effects Genius – Congratulations Raffael, You Made(it)in.LA+!

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What is your background?
I am originally from Switzerland and grew up there but have been living in LA for 6 years now mostly doing previs and vfx work.

How did you get involved on this project?
Pixel Liberation Front got hired early on in the process in pre production to help flesh out the large amount of visual effects sequences with previs, at the time no actors were cast yet and the look of the film was being developed. a team of artists under the supervision of Kyle Robinson moved to New Orleans where filming was happening and worked on location to plan lots of the action sequences. eventually production moved back to LA after half a year of filming and post production began at Warner Bros. the team deliverde large amount of Postvis shots to help edit the film and those shots then were sent of the vfx vendors such as Sony Imageworks and many others who would deliver the final shots for the film. I ended up animating shots as a previs designer as well as using the virtual camera system that I developed which would help the director, 2nd unit director and production designer scout sets. I also helped record action sequences using motion capture with stunt performers.

How was the collaboration with director Martin Campbell?
A veteran filmmaker with a great sense of humor made it a pleasure to work with Martin Campbell, he is married to a swiss woman and it was interesting to not just talk about movies but also Switzerland with him.

Did you received storyboards from the production or did you start from scratch?
Both cases happen. You often start with storyboards but some sequences you might start out with just some info or scribbles on paper and then get refined as the process moves on.

Can you explain the creation of a previs shot step by step?
Previs is meant to help plan action sequences before they are shot. at this time no set might exist or a real world location has to be worked into the process. You start with modeling some assets such as characters, spaceships and location and then you go on animating shots, composite in effects and they get edited together. Since it’s a much faster process than final shots which large companies will do with tons of departments and a slow way of delivering, the director can come by look at the edit and look over your shoulder and give straight feedback. So previs has a much faster turnaround which helps the creative planning. Previs is also based on real world measurements so the shots are not just to look at but also to measure distances, determine the costs of shots, which elements are practical, which are digital and also to simply try out sequences that might not get shot.

What was the most complex sequence to design and animate?
GREEN LANTERN was a very ambitious project with alien characters, artificial worlds which were all challenging, but the creation of Parallax was definitely a challenge as it was a difficult creature to handle. Artists Michael Grawert and Diana Velasquez did a great job tackling all the hard shots with that creature. The Ferris Party scene also went through many iterations which was a challenge to get it right in a short amount of time. We were able to go on set and see the helicopter crash and hundreds of extras run away, that was a great experience.

Did you use motion capture for your animations?
For the training platform between Hal Jordan and Kilowog and Sinestro we captued the performers and used that for previs. Most previs is still being done using keyframe animation.

You were on the set, can you explain how was one of your typical day?
The visits on set means usually a lot of waiting as the real sets needs tons of planning coordinating many people. Being able to see explosions going off or extras run around in masses is an experience but it can mean long waits. Working with stunt performers I found very interesting doing the fights as you see what effort goes into actually doing these kinds of actions.

When you look at the final result, is there a big difference between your previs and final shots?
It’s actually amazing how close the final film looks to the previs for most of the action sequences. It was such a technically challenging complex film which can serve as a good example how previs can help you plan sequences and save cost.

What was the biggest challenge on this film? How did you achieve it?
We faced many challenges such as the mentioned Parallax but also the insane number of shots that we had to do. For me personally was the development of the virtual camera system which I didn’t know if I could make it work in time. Knowing there was expectation to use it very soon was stressful but it worked out luckily.

Was there a shot or a sequence that prevented you from sleep?
hahah. there were some months were we had to work 7 days a week, at that point all you can dream of is sleep actually.

What do you keep from this experience?
It was great to see real set explosions and seeing my camera system being used by other artists on the movie. Seeing the final result on film is always a thrill. What is amazing tough sometimes is that you will see the result of something on screen that you might have worked a year or more before that and how long it takes a film to make of this size.

How long have you worked on this film?
I think it was about 14 months while 8 of them being on locaiton in new orleans.

What was the size of the team at Pixel Liberation Front?
The team changes in size, it usually goes from 4 up to maybe 10 or 12 depending on the production need.

What is your next project?
I just spent 7 months on the new Superman movie MAN OF STEEL, what’s next we will see.

What are the four films that gave you the passion of cinema?

A big thanks for your time.


Pixel Liberation Front: Official website of Pixel Liberation Front.
Raffael Dickreuter: Official website of Raffael Dickreuter.

Special thanks to the Swiss Visual Effects Association “Swiss Made VFX”
© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2011

Written by M:)

October 6, 2011 at 9:32 am

Angeleno-Swiss Carlos Leal inviting you to “Short Films, Long Nights”, this Saturday, Sep 24 @ Alliance Francaise/Theatre Raymond Kabbaz

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My dear LALALand friends,

I’d like to invite you next Saturday to the event “Shortfilms, Long night” organized by the Swiss consulate and the Theatre Raymond Kabbaz (Theatre Francophone de Los Angeles).

I will present 6 shortfilms in which I am.
Snacks and drinks for everybody.

My selection will be screened between 8pm and 9pm, but the ceremony starts at 5pm and the event will end at 10pm.
Attached the flyer + a little sample.

We’ll have fun!

“Shortfilms, Long Night” (PDF program)
Saturday, September 24, 5-10pm
Theatre “Raymond Kabbaz”
10361 West Pico Bvd
90064 L.A.

Carlos Leal

Written by M:)

September 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s message to the Angeleno-Swiss in celebration of the 720th Swiss National Day – Thank You, Mr. Mayor!

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Written by M:)

August 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm

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